Ask Benny: It’s a grand old flag, and it’s not for sale

Dear Benny,
Who makes the University flag? Are they available for purchase?
— Wants to Wave the Red and Blue

Dear Penn Patriot,
Janice Marini, special events director in the President’s Office, told me, “The flags are made by a local flag company. We use two different companies, depending on their ability to turn around a job quickly. University flags are not available for purchase. They are used only for official functions, ceremonies and events. You can get Penn banners and pennants from the Penn Bookstore.”

Dear Benny,
Whatever happened to the iron gates that once existed at the west end of Hamilton Walk, at the intersection of 38th Street and University Avenue? The reinstallation of the gates would certainly add to the appearance of the Leidy Labs/Quad area.
— South Campus Denizen

Dear Biologist,
“What gates?” was University Landscape Architect Bob Lundgren’s first response when I asked him this question. “There are no gates. They were stolen many years ago. I’ve been here 22 years, and I’ve never seen them. What I was told when I got here was that they were stolen probably several years before that, when Penn was thinking about renovating Hamilton Walk.”

Lundgren said that there are no current plans to replace the gates, even though the pillars that supported them still stand and drawings and photographs of them exist in the Facilities Services Division’s files. “If someone is willing to give us the $300,000 it would cost to restore the columns and rebuild the gates, we would do it,” he added.

Got a question for Benny? You can ask Benny about benefits, worklife issues, University history or trivia, or other matters pertaining to life at Penn. Send it via e-mail to or via regular mail to the Current, 200 Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106. A Current coffee mug goes to those whose questions we publish.

Originally published on February 26, 2004